With a scanner, you can digitise photos, slides and documents and save them to your computer's hard drive or an external device in high quality. Handy if you need to send documents or want to reminisce later.




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    With a scanner, you can digitise photos, slides and documents and save them to your computer's hard drive or an external device in high quality. Handy if you need to send documents or want to reminisce later.


    How does a scanner work?

    A scanner is a device consisting of a tray where paper or photos can be fed and a tray where the input is digitised using various techniques. The operation of a scanner varies by type, for example, there are scanners where the document is passed through the device and placed on a glass plate or scanned via a drum. Documents are then stored on a computer's drive for editing or printing. After all, techniques such as OCR ensure that characters can be recognised and read by software and photos can be edited in Photoshop, for example. Brands such as Reflecta and Epson offer many functions that make scanning easier.

    Digitise your documents and photos

    The main function of a scanner is to digitise files and photos, so that they can be stored on a computer hard drive or on an external device. The advantage is that you can share printed photos from the past with family and friends via email or other sending techniques. You can save whole documents or books and restore them if necessary. Think of old books, diplomas and certificates. In addition, it is sometimes necessary to scan a passport or bank card, for example, to apply for travel visas or contracts with employers.

    Different types of scanner

    The scanner market offers various models, each of which provides quality for a different application. We briefly discuss the application possibilities of the different models.

    • Flatbed scanner: The standard among scanners and still the most common type of scanner. The flatbed is characterised by the flap under which a document/photograph is placed on a glass plate. The speed of the scanner is not very high, but the accuracy and high quality make up for this. This scanner is therefore very suitable to use when digitising photos. It is better to purchase a document scanner for scanning large quantities of documents.
    • Document scanner: A document scanner consists of a large compartment in which several documents can be placed. The advantage of this printer is that large quantities of documents can be digitised quickly thanks to the automatic document feeder. The formats the printer accepts vary by type, so always pay attention when buying. Available software makes it easy to share documents and put them neatly in order.  
    • Film scanner: These scanners have been developed to perform optimally when scanning slides and negatives. The quality of the images is high and the scanners are therefore ideal if you want to digitise your old slides in high quality. The advantage is that this scanner can scan multiple slides in succession, so you don't have to constantly stay near the device.

    High Quality

    The resolution for scanners is expressed in DPI, or Dots Per Inch. The scanning resolution is now so high that the quality of scanning is completely maintained and some techniques can even add extra pixels. With a maximum of 1200 dpi, you can digitise razor-sharp images. Scanners above this value are mainly found in film scanners, which are specifically aimed at transferring slides and negatives.

    Other functions

    In addition to scanning documents and photos, some scanners also have the function to directly save the scans to a SD card or USB stick. This way you can take a document or photo with you. There is a difference in the format of documents and photos supported by each printer, so always make sure that the paper size you want to scan fits in the scanner. Various scanners also offer the possibility to scan to PDF format, so that you immediately have the documents in a well-organised file.